“Gun-toting Christian town” is not a common descriptor in news stories, but that’s the deck head for a story in yesterday’s Contra Costra Times about a Christian ministry using paintball as an evangelistic tool on public grounds.
MARIPOSA—This is a mountain town where there’s a Bible verse painted over a pizza parlor door and a local politician keeps a cardboard cutout of John Wayne holding a Winchester rifle in his office as proof of fealty to the NRA.
But a proposal to bring “Paintball for Jesus” to public land has some people riled.
“I’m sorry, maybe I’m missing something in my upbringing as a Methodist, but Paintball for Jesus? God help us all. Seriously, this teaches bad habits of shooting each other,” said Mariposa County Supervisor Brad Aborn, 71, the John Wayne fan who is a former Vietnam War Navy helicopter pilot.
The Bible Belt Blogger responds: “I guess Mr. Aborn didn’t receive his “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” memo from headquarters ... “
Though my only memories of paintballing as a teenager are of outings with my church youth group, we always splattered each other orange and green and yellow and blue at a private paintball park. But at what point does public land become remote enough for paintballing or dirt biking or any other activity that requires open land and is officially unsavory?